Last night my boyfriend and I had a talk about fitness goals. Now, if you know us you already know that we are the type of people who take health and fitness seriously. We hit the gym at least 4 times a week for about an hour and half per night, we eat healthy, and we enjoy an active lifestyle in our home state of Colorado. For us, health is not the last and often forgotten item on a to-do list, but rather something we both strive for, and I'd even dare to say, our number one hobby. But even though we are both healthy and in good shape, we've been talking about how to explore this even more.
In the fitness world, the obvious next step would be a competition. Be it body building, bikini, or power lifting, competitions are a big part of that industry, but we both agree this isn't the right path for us. While these competitions are a test of what the body can do, I feel that they disregard the health component, and at the end of the day, health needs to be at the core of your fitness plan. All that being said, we want to push ourselves, to uplevel with ourselves as our own competition, to see what we can do. That's why we are creating a challenge for ourselves which I'm calling 52 Weeks to Peak Physique.
Over the next 52 weeks, we will work to obtain our ideal physique, taking into account physical exercise, as well as nutrition plans that will help us achieve our goals. In order to be successful and maintain the health component, we have decided to put parameters in place, and approach this using careful research, science-based strategies, and drawing lines in the sand before we start to ensure we don't get carried away. My goals and approach to health also include taking care of my mental and emotional health, so I'm adding some additional measures to make sure I'm checking in with myself and keeping that a priority as well.
Before I go any further, I want to address the elephant in the room - you're probably wondering if this is a vanity challenge for aesthetic purposes. And I'll admit that PARTIALLY....it is. I'd be lying if I told you that part of this isn't about trying to look our best, BUT we also understand that health needs to be at the heart, which is why we are taking measures to ensure that we remain healthy throughout this process. This is also the main reason we don't want to participate in any competitions. But while we do want to try to look our best, it's more about seeing what our bodies can do! We are looking to reach our peak, and then scale back a bit to something that's truly sustainable, but never will we put our health at risk. (PS if you want to read more of my thoughts on the aesthetic component of this challenge, I'll be writing more in depth about this later in the week!)
So, how will this be structured, and what measures are we putting in place? Great question!
For the next 52 weeks, we are going to create and follow nutrition and workout plans to help us reach our fitness goals. I'll be posting my plans on this blog to show you exactly what I'm eating, and how I'm working out each week, as well as weekly progress reports, and thoughts along the way. We are doing this together, but I'm only publishing my results in order to maintain my boyfriend's privacy. Additionally, we are making the following rules to keep us in check: (click Read More to see the rest of the post)
We're keeping it real (ie natural)
Everyone has a different definition of what that means, but for me, it means taking only natural vitamins and supplements, no chemicals, hormones, or "sketchy shit" because I simply don't want it in my body. Also, I think it's more impressive to see what I can do without artificial enhancement of any kind.
We're learning to do it the right way
I'm enrolled in an accredited Personal Trainer certification program, and will be working to become certified as we go through this program. JC already knows a lot about this from a lifetime of learning about fitness, but I'm planning to use this knowledge and incorporate it into my weekly planning so that I'm doing things the right way for optimal health and safety, as well as (hopefully!) optimal results.
We aren't going to be slaves to the gym
Yes, we are going to spend a lot of time at the gym. We know this is part of the deal. We already enjoy spending quite a bit of time there during the nights and weekends, and will likely increase our time spent there, but we also live in a beautiful state with tons of options for outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, yoga, etc. If something sounds fun, we'll do it! My goal is to have a well-rounded fitness regiment that includes lots of different types of exercise, not just lifting weight.
...or to the plan
We love to travel, and spend time with family and friends, and we also don't want this to consume our lives. We plan to be strict enough to maintain willpower, but flexible enough to allow ourselves wiggle room when needed. We can't go to Belgium and not try at least a LITTLE chocolate and beer, am I right?! ;)
We are setting minimum and maximum weight and body fat goals
This is really important to us to make sure that we are staying within a reasonable range - to push ourselves without going overboard. There will be parts of this process where we need to bulk, and parts where we need to lean, and setting these parameters will make sure we are doing it responsibly.
We are keeping health at the forefront - physical and mental
This could easily turn into a vanity contest, and both of us have had plenty of body-image struggles in the past, so in addition to exercise and nutrition, I'm including meditation, journaling, and other mindfulness practices to ensure that I'm keeping in check with my emotions and not doing anything that makes me feel bad.
We're keeping track of our progress
52 weeks is a long time, so I'm sure that there will be other things that come up during this time period that I can't anticipate right now. That's why I have the blog! I want to share this journey with you, and show you the actual ups and downs of this process - because progress includes failures and successes.
We are super excited about this plan, and can't wait to get started and share our progress with you! Later this week I plan to write more about the emotional component of my fitness journey up to this point and why I want to do this, as well as our starting reports before we launch into this plan. Stay tuned for updates about what we are doing each week, and how we feel about the process, as well as any insights we uncover along the way. Thanks for coming along for the ride, we can't wait to see how we feel at our peak physique!
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